Staircase railings are an important part of deck and patio design as they provide safety and offer support for those who need assistance in walking up or down stairs. There are numerous customization options for staircase railings, meaning that they can be designed to fit your taste preferences.
You can use various types of metal to construct your staircase railings. Aluminum and stainless steel can provide a very modern and sleek look that would perfectly compliment contemporary architecture. Wrought iron and wood can be utilized in order to give the staircase railings a more traditional look.
The material that your staircase is constructed from should also be taken into consideration. A brick staircase will be perfectly complimented by an ornamental wrought iron staircase, while a staircase designed from concrete would look great with a stainless steel or glass railing. While the basic design function of a staircase railing is fairly standard, you can personalize and customize its appearance by utilizing the many looks and styles that are available.
Components of Staircase Railings
A staircase railing system is sometimes referred to as a balustrade. The function of staircase railings is to provide support for those walking down the stairs and to prevent people from falling over the side of the staircase.
The most obvious component of staircase railings is the handrail, which is also referred to as the banister. This is the component that is grasped for support and can be either a continuous piece of wood or metal or it can be designed to run from post to post.
The vertical supports, or posts, that hold the handrail are called balusters. These fill the gaps between posts and the railings and also prevent anything from falling off the side of the staircase. The supports can be made from a number of materials, including various types of wood and metal, which match or compliment the handrail and posts. In some contemporary designs, wire rope or cables are used horizontally to serve the purpose of balusters. Glass can also be used in place of a traditional baluster.
A newel is the large post that anchors each end of the handrail. Depending on the length of a staircase, there can be one newel on each end and multiple in between that are spaced at equal distance in order to provide support for the banister. Newels are generally large versions of the balustrades that extend from the floor to the handrail in order to provide support.
A finial is a design accent that is added to the top of posts or newels. These are usually simple in design, but can sometimes be flourished in order to create an over the top unique design.
With the many options for staircase railings, it may take a while to settle on the right design for you, but once you do its time to have your staircase railings installed. It is important that these railings are properly designed and installed, as improper installation can be a safety hazard. Staircase railings need to be able to support a lot of weight and not bend or break when being used as support. It is important that the newels be properly anchored to the ground so that they won’t become loose from frequent use. With this in mind, it is often a good idea to hire a professional for the installation of your staircase railings.